The September challenge asked us to make a quilt using stars of any kind. My favourite block! The hard part of the challenge for me was narrowing it down to which star block, and what setting, and then, of course, which fabrics to use. Oh the woes of being an Island Batik ambassador.
Stitchin' at Home) which is a wonderful stars pattern, so off I went.
Round about the 16/17 of September, I realized wait a minute.... Cindy's pattern is paper-pieced; isn't October's challenge paper-piecing? Yup. So if I was doing Cindy's pattern for stars, what would I do for paper-piecing? Nothing came immediately to mind, and that was when I looked at my printout of the schedule again.
And read my own notes. Beside October was 'Cindy's pattern'. No! Yes! (smack myself up side the head and regroup) I had this book out of the library, renewed oh, twice, and then checked in and checked back out again now:
I have loved that cover quilt since I first had the book out, last year I believe. Why not make that quilt for the challenge? So I set out to do that. It's a big one, though, 72" square. Well, I could do nine blocks instead of 16.
So I got started. I realized along the way a couple of things.
1. I started cutting 6" squares, as per the pattern, and made two at a time HSTs. No problem. The problem that did happen though was that they have you square them to 5", so they finish at 4.5" making 18" star blocks. That was wasting a lot of fabric. One thing I do not do, is waste fabric; well, as little as possible. So I squared them to 5.5" having them finish at 5" which would make a 20" block, ergo a 60" square quilt. Gulp. That's pretty big to start more than halfway through the month, and um, wasn't a certain grandson and a certain daughter coming to visit on the 22 for 11 days? Yeah, but this is a pretty easy peasy quilt. That's the story I told myself.
Book it! method, a method I use all the time in quilting. Below is the quilt in its various columns.
|150 Canadian Women had to be rolled up and pinned out of the way!|
|Flimsy finished! That was Oct. 8, and the quilt finish photo shoot was Oct. 13.|
I kept the quilting relatively straightforward because I needed this done, and I don't think I will keep it, although now it's done (and finishing drying as I type) I am falling in love with it I'll admit.
I knew I'd take it to the end of the street for a photo shoot since my plan of doing it in Windsor on the Detroit River, didn't work out. This was better.
There's a video on my Instagram (@mmmquilts) of this. It was wonderful. That's the top of his staircase, in disrepair, that you can see that used to take you down to the beach below.
The sun was at a pretty decent angle to show off the quilting, and also made the colours pretty near perfect as to real life.
I love how your eye sees stars, then sees squares, then sees kind of Pac man shapes, then back to stars. Lots of movement.
So, quilting. It was HARD to NOT go nuts in all the negative space. I did a swirl and hook all-over and knew I'd do a custom design in the four central squares. I had had the thought to do some ghost stars somewhere and thought why not here? So I drew the same star block in the four central squares, echoed, did a jazzy lines 'rays' outer design and filled the centre square on point with a different fill in each one:
Here's a close-up of one of them on Avril:
When it came to the on point star centres, I had to do something special in those nine blocks too. The top row got a dot to dot starburst design of Angela Walters that she is doing this past week, Week 2 of her FMQ Challenge. It picks up on the star theme I think. (Sidenote: you'll notice how there is only about 3/4" inch batting showing around the top and side edges of the quilt in the photo below. The package Hobbs gave us is 60". This quilt was 60.5". I wanted so badly to try the cotton/wool! What were the chances there was a little bit of overage? There was. This much only around all four sides. I figured well, no, can't do that on a longarm; I could on a domestic, but I don't have time nor desire to quilt it on my Bernina... However, I could use a domestic technique: basting spray! That would hold the top to the batting and I could make this work. Not much room for tension testing, but Aurifil on top, The Bottom Line on the bottom, two excellent quality threads, and my Avril who is a trooper, meant for very little fussing with tension. Score!)
I thought why do that nine times when you can do a different design in the centre three? FMQ is just so much fun! So I did a little bit different dot to dot design, one of the motifs from her Dot to Dot Quilting class (affiliate link) I took twice, once on Craftsy, and once in person (cue the choir!). That's my own design to fill it in, mirrored e's or l's, something that both Judi Madsen and Christina Cameli do, but not in this diamond.
Sew Sisters Quilt Shop on one of their monthly sales (no affiliate but watch for it, a great deal!)
|Sun glinting on my mmm! quilts label, but I remembered, yay.|
Why Twinkle Sprinkles? For most of the time making this quilt it was hot, as in high 30s, low 40s Celsius (aka upper 90s, low 100s Fahrenheit) with the humidity factored in. The colours made me think of ice cream, and sprinkles, and with stars, well, this whimsical name kind of popped into my brain. And stuck.
A quick shot at the back, which is an older fabric from my stash in a soft tan colour that went with the colour palette.... Okay and makes me think of a waffle cone!
And again today, so I could get a shot of it after laundering.
Pattern: Half-Square Triangle Quilt by Liz and Elizabeth Evans
Size: 59 7/8" square after quilting; 57 1/4 X 58 1/4 after washing (wow! I should have dried it flat; I will definitely recommend and do that in future.)
Fabric: Island Batiks 'Check it Out' and three basics; off-white is
Backing: 'Petites' by mdd studio for Troy Corporation Riverwoods Collection
Batting: Hobbs 80/20 Cotton/Wool blend (love love this batting)
Quilted: on Avril, FMQ and dot to dot
Threads: pieced on my Bernina with Aurifil cotton white; quilted with Aurifil cotton 2600, The Bottom Line polyester in the bobbin.
Stitch Count: 132 633
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